Tuesday, 8 November 2016
I Am an Island/Universal/Spellbound/Flow in Motion/The Best Years of Our Lives/Syncopation Train/I Fought the Law/All Night Long/Walk on Water
Australian singer/songwriter Richard Clapton played with several bands during the late '60s and '70s as he traveled across Europe before returning to Australia in 1972 to begin his solo career.
His debut single, "Last Train to Marseilles," released in October 1972, was not commercially successful and he joined the jazz-rock band Sun for a six-week stint. His debut album, Prussian Blue, was released in November 1973, but his first chart success was with the single "Girls on the Avenue," which reached number two nationally in March 1975. He released the Girls on the Avenue album followed by the album Main Street Jive in July 1976. A European tour followed at the end of the year. Clapton's contribution to the 1977 Highway One soundtrack album, "Capricorn Dancer," peaked at number 20.
The Great Escape
A new record deal with WEA in 1982 produced The Great Escape, which peaked at number seven in March. The single, "I Am an Island," peaked at number 20 while the compilation album, The Very Best of Richard Clapton, peaked at number 15 during the same time. Another national tour followed which included bassist Garry Gary Beers and drummer Jon Farriss from INXS as part of his backing band; an association that began when Clapton produced their 1981 album, Underneath the Colours. In 1983, Clapton joined the Party Boys for a short time and appeared on their Greatest Hits (of Other People) album. In 1984, Clapton released his next solo album, Solidarity, and again toured the country. Glory Road followed in 1987, produced by Jon Farriss in return for Clapton's work on Underneath the Colours.
In September 1989, The Best Years of Our Lives, a live album recorded on April 16, 1989, was issued. The next four years were spent undergoing contractual difficulties until Clapton signed a five-album deal with Sony. Between record deals, Clapton remained popular on the touring circuit and went on to release Distant Thunder in 1993 and Angeltown in 1996. In 1982 he signed with WEA and the Mark Opitz-produced The Great Escape had contributions from members of Cold Chisel and INXS. The album, which peaked at No. 8 in March, spawned three singles. The hard-rocking "I Am an Island", with Cold Chisel's Ian Moss on guitar and Jimmy Barnes on backing vocals, reached the top 20. Two other singles, "Spellbound" (April) and "The Best Years of Our Lives" (September) did not chart in the top 50. In May, WEA released his compilation, The Very Best of Richard Clapton, which reached No. 18 with The Great Escape still in the top 20.